Sunday, November 29, 2015

Game Based Learning and a Growth Mindset

It's the holiday season.  Time for family, for food and for.....a growth mindset!  When our family gathers, we play games.  We play cards, put together puzzles, roll the monopoly dice and laugh at our competitive spirits.  This year, I am trying to take a step back and think about how a Growth Mindset impacts our inter-generational connections as we play games. 
Do we encourage and value risk-taking and mistake-making?  Do we let the youngest cousins win too easily?  Do we let Grandma bend the rules? I think, generally speaking, we play family games with a Growth Mindset without even realizing it!
Why do we play games at family gatherings?  Because it's fun, interactive, skill-building and better than sitting around watching TV.

The idea of game-based learning is making its way into classrooms around the country as educators discover its power to motivate--the human mind tunes in to the situational challenges that games create for our growing minds.  Game-based learning is NOT playing "hangman" with vocabulary words on a Friday afternoon. 
Game-based learning looks like the classroom in this video from Edutopia, featuring a 6th grade Social Studies lesson.

How does game-based learning fit with Growth Mindset? I think that the two ideas go "hand-in-hand". 

If we set the stage well for our learners, games will provide a safe framework for trying new ideas and stretching our student's skills. Take a look at the Edutopia Blog post HERE. In my opinion, there are close connections between game-based learning principles and the Growth Mindset.